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American Academy of Pediatrics

 

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Below is a release on a study appearing in the January issue of Pediatrics, the peer-reviewed, scientific journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).

STUDY FINDS 2.5 PERCENT OF YOUTHS HAVE PARTICIPATED IN SEXTING IN PAST YEAR

An increasing number of adolescents participate in “sexting,” which is sending sexually explicit images of themselves or other minors by cell phone or the Internet. In the study, “Prevalence and Characteristics of Youth Sexting: A National Study” in the January 2012 Pediatrics (published online Dec. 5, 2011), 1,560 Internet users ages 10 through 17 were surveyed about their experiences with appearing in, creating, or receiving sexual images or videos. The study found that 2.5 percent of youth surveyed have participated in sexting in the past year, but only 1 percent involved images that potentially violate child pornography laws. If sexting is defined as transmitting sexually suggestive images, rather than sexually explicit images, that number increases to 9.6 percent. Most kids who have participated do so as a prank or while in a relationship, and a significant number of the incidents (31 percent) included alcohol or drug use. Only a small number of youth admitted to forwarding or posting the images, but half of the incidents occurred more than once. Study authors feel that more young people need to be educated on the consequences of possessing or distributing sexually explicit images, which is currently treated as a criminal offense.

Editor’s Note: a related study, “How Often Are Teens Arrested for Sexting? Data From a National Sample of Police Cases,” will also be published online in the Dec. 5 Pediatrics.

GIRLS, TEENS MORE LIKELY TO SUFFER HEADACHES AFTER TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURIES

More than half a million children in the U.S. sustain a traumatic brain injury (TBI) every year. Adults who suffer TBI often report headaches afterward, but little is known about how often children suffer headaches after similar injuries. In the study, “Headache After Pediatric Traumatic Brain Injury: A Cohort Study,” in the January 2012 Pediatrics (published online Dec. 5, 2011), researchers analyzed the prevalence of headaches three and 12 months after mild and moderate or severe TBI in children ages 5 to 17. Three months after a mild TBI, 43 percent of children reported headache, compared to 37 percent of children who had a moderate to severe TBI, and 26 percent of children in the control group. The risk of headache was highest in adolescents and in girls. Study authors conclude that the response to and recovery from TBI is different for children, adolescents and adults, and that boys and girls are likely to have different symptoms and recovery. Because of the high number of children suffering TBI every year, the study findings indicate many children and adolescents suffer from TBI-associated headaches every year.

The American Academy of Pediatrics is an organization of 60,000 primary care pediatricians, pediatric medical subspecialists and pediatric surgical specialists dedicated to the health, safety and well being of infants, children, adolescents and young adults. For more information, visit www.aap.org.